BarbadosBarbados is a small country located in the Caribbean Sea. The capital isBridgetown with a population of about 8,789. The head of state of Barbados isQueen Elizabeth II and she is represented by General Dame Nita Barrow. Thetotal population of the country is around 252,000. The main language is Englishand the predominant religion is Christianity. Their date of independence wasNovember 30, 1966.
Barbados is the eastern most Caribbean Island. It is about 200 milesNorth-North East of Trinidad and about 100 miles East-South East of St. Lucia.It is the second smallest country in the Western Hemisphere. The major urbancenters in the area include Bridgetown, Speightstown, Oistins, and Holetown.The land is mainly flat except for a series of ridges that rise up to about1,000 feet and then falling towards the sea.
The climate of the region consists of tropical temperatures influenced bythe Northeast trade winds. The average annual temperature is approximately 77degrees Fahrenheit. The daily temperatures rarely get above 90 degreesFahrenheit. The dry season is cool, while the wet season is slightly warmer.The main rains come during the months of July, August, September, October, andNovember. The annual average rainfall is 40 inches in the coastal areas and 90inches in the central areas.The net migration into Barbados is 4.
82 per 1000. The annual growth rateis 0.4%, which is one of the lowest in the world. The annual birthrate is 15.
45per 1000, and the annual deathrate is 8.27 per 1000. Barbados ranks fourth inthe World in population density with the overall density being 1526 per squaremile.
The whole island is inhabited, leaving no sparsely populated areas. Themain race is Negro, which is about 92% of the population. The remainder of thepopulation is consists of Whites (3.8%), Mulattoes (3.8%), and East Indians(0.4%). About 70% of the population is Anglican. The other 30% belong tovarious denominations such as Moravian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic.
Barbados was once under British control from 1624. Its House of Assembly,which began in 1639, is the third oldest legislative body in the WesternHemisphere. By the time Britain left in 1966, the island was completely Englishin culture. The British influence is still seen today in quaint pubs, cricketgames on the village greens, and in the common law.Barbados’ government is British Parliament. The queen is the head of stateand she is represented by the governor general. The governor general appointsan advisory council. The executive authority is the Prime Minister who is OwenSeymour Arthur which came into power on September 6, 1994.
The Deputy PrimeMinister is Billie Miller who also came into power on September 6, 1994. Thedemocratic government works well in the country. They have had three generalelections and one smooth transfer of power from the Democratic Labor Party tothe Barbados Labor Party. Barbados carries on trade with other Caribbeannations and does have diplomatic relations with Cuba. Their closest relationsare with the United Stated, and the United Kingdom. Barbados joined the UnitedNations is 1966.
The economy of Barbados is one of the 35 upper middle-income countries ofthe world. They have a free-market economy, but the dominant sector is private.Their economy is based on sugar and tourism, but the government has encouraged apolicy of diversification in order to achieve a more stable nation.
They alsodepend on a light manufacturing industry. Their monetary unit is the Barbadosdollar. The coins are made in 1, 5, 10, and 25 cents. The paper money is madein 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollar bills. One U.
S. dollar is equal to 2.01Barbados dollar (1975).About 60% of the land is cropland. The agriculture industry employs 7.4%of the labor force and contributes about 8.7% to the Gross Domestic Product.
Sugarcane makes up over half the acreage. Bananas are also grown, but only on alimited scale. Sea island cotton is also grown. All of the farmers arerequired by regulations to plant at least 12% of their arable land with somefood crop.Barbados’ natural resources include petroleum, fishing, and natural gas.The fishing industry employs about 2,500 people and 500 small boats.
Their areno natural forests in the country. Manufacturing contributes about 11.2% to theGDP. Manufacturing and mining employ about 18.9% of the labor force.
Themajority of the industrial establishments are engaged in some form of sugarprocessing. Sugar is the principal export. The principal imports includemachinery, motor vehicles, lumber, and fuels. Barbados’ per capita income of$9,200 makes it one of the highest standards of living of all the small islandstates of the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados is also one of the many transshipmentpoints for narcotics bound for the U.
S. and Europe.Some of the current issues in the country consist of the pollution ofcoastal waters from the waste disposal ships, soil erosion, and illegal solidwaste disposal that threatens contamination of aquifers. Barbados is alsoplagued with natural disasters such as hurricanes and landslides. Theirhurricane season is between the months of June and October, which is the sameseason as the U.
S.SourcesThe World Factbook 1995. Central Intelligence Agency. 1995.The World in Figures. Showers, Victor.
1973. Library ofCongress.Encyclopedia of the Third World. Kurian, George Thomas. 1987.
Library of Congress.World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative Study of Churches andthe Religions in the Modern World, AD 1900-2000.Caribbean Week. “Barbados.” Internet.